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The Bible in Living English
42 And Jacob saw that there was grain to be had in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons “Why are you looking at each other?” 2 and “Here, I have heard that there is grain to be had in Egypt: go down there and buy us some food there, so that we shall remain alive and not die.” 3 And Joseph’s brothers, ten of them, went down to buy grain from Egypt; 4 but Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, because he thought “He might come to harm.” 5 And Israel’s sons came to buy among those that were coming, because the famine was in Canaan; 6 and Joseph was the dictator of the country, the one who sold to the populace, and Joseph’s brothers came and did reverence to him with their faces to the ground. 7 And Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but disguised himself from them and spoke harshly to them and said “Where do you come from?” and they said “From Canaan, to buy food.” 8 And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him; 9* and Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed of them. And he said to them “You are spying; it was to see the vulnerable points of the country that you came.” 10 And they said to him “No, sir, your servants came to buy food. 11 We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men; your servants have not been spying.” 12 And he said to them “No, you came to see the vulnerable points of the country.” 13 And they said “Your servants are twelve brothers; we are sons of one man in Canaan; and the youngest is with our father today, and one is no longer with us.” 14 And Joseph said to them “Just as I said, you are spies. 15 This shall be the test for you: by the Pharaoh’s life, you shall not go out from here except by your youngest brother’s coming here. 16* Send one of you to fetch your brother, and the rest of you stand committed, and your words will be tested, whether there is truth in you; and if not, by the Pharaoh’s life you are spies”; 17 and he clapped them into prison for three days. 18 And Joseph said to them on the third day “Do this and save your lives: I am a God-fearing man. 19** If you are honest men, let one brother of yours stand committed in your prison, and the rest of you go carry grain for your starving families, 20 and bring your brother to me, and your words will be verified and you shall not die”; and they did so. 21 And they said to each other “Well, we owed a penalty about our brother, that we saw his distress when he pleaded with us and we would not listen; that is why this distress has come on us.” 22 And Reuben answered them “Didn’t I say to you ʽDon’t do wrong by the child,’ and you would not listen? and here we are being called to account for his very blood.” 23 And they did not know Joseph understood, because there was the interpreter between them. 24 And he turned aside from them and wept, and came back to them and spoke to them, and took Simeon out of the group and fettered him before their eyes. 25 And Joseph gave orders and they filled their things with grain, and orders to put their money back in each man’s sack and to give them provisions for the journey; and they did so for them, 26 and they loaded their grain on their donkeys and went from there. 27 And one opened his sack to give his donkey feed at their stopping-place for the night, and saw how his money was in the mouth of his bag; 28 and he said to his brothers “My money is returned, and here it is in my very bag.” And they were bewildered, and said to each other in a panic “What is this God has done to us?” 29 And they came to Canaan to their father Jacob and told him all the things that had happened to them, saying 30 “The man, the master of the country, spoke harshly with us and made out that we were spying the country. 31 And we said to him ‘We are honest men, we are not spies; 32 we are twelve brothers, one father’s sons, and one is no longer among us, and the youngest is with our father in Canaan today.’ 33 And the man, the master of the country, said to us ‘This is how I shall know you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take what your starving families need and go, 34 and bring your youngest brother to me so that I shall know you are not spies but honest men; I will give you your brother and you shall have freedom of trade in the country.’” 35 But as they were emptying their sacks they found that each one’s bundle of money was in his sack; and they saw the bundles of money, they and their father, and were afraid. 36 And their father Jacob said to them “You have been robbing me of my children: Joseph is gone and Simeon is gone and you are going to take Benjamin—it all falls on me.” 37 But Reuben said to his father “Put my two sons to death if I do not bring him to you; put him in my hands and I will get him back to you.” 38 But he said “My son shall not go down with you, because his brother is dead and he is the only one left, and if he comes to harm on the errand you are going on you will make my gray head carry sorrow down to the world of the dead.”